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The current fasting times in the England are from 2:30am until 9:40pm. I have a full time job, a pregnant wife and a 15 month old child. My wife and I go to sleep at 10 as our daughter is up at 6:30 (on a good day) and I go to work at 7:40.

How is it possible for me to fast between these times?

I feel that we are getting some what of a hard deal here. My brother lives in Saudi, they have a full month off and the days are extremely short. I would love to observe Ramadan but I have a family to provide for and have to help my wife. Staying up late is not an option.Can someone please help?

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Some options:

  • Speak to your manager about rearranging working time over this month.
  • Is working from home an option?
  • Reserve some holiday to spend in the way of Allah - use some of your annual leave over Ramadan.(consider working half days for some days during the week etc)

May Allah make it easy for you.

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The harder you find it to fast the more reward you will get. You have approximately 6 hours of rest and you should think of the most efficient way to use your time.

Most countries do not give holidays during Ramadan and you should continue your life with your normal daily activities.

Instead of thinking about how hard Ramadan is, you should think about the less fortunate who have to go through harder times than this all the time everyday. Ramadan is a time that we learn and appreciate what we have.

Think of it this way. On the day of judgement when Allah asks you why you didn't fast will you say because I had a job and my child woke up early?

There are countries which have less days than England but there are countries such as Sweden where they have to fast for nearly 22 hours and so they only get 2 hours break. They also have their jobs to attend and their families to look after.

The best thing to do is have a patience and do your best to fast as you are being tested by Allah to see how strong your Emaan is.

Remember: “Allāh does not burden a soul more than it can bear.” (Al-Baqarah: 286)

Have a blessed Ramadan and may Allah reward you for your fasts and struggles during this holy month.

Verse 2:187 of the Qur’ān explains this matter.

The Saudi Fatwa Committee stated on this issue:

“If the night and day are both distinct no matter where it may be, Muslims in Ramaḍān must fast from Fajr till Maghrib, whether the day is long or short.”

Shaykh Hasanain Makhlūf said:

As for those countries in which the sun rises and sets every day, with the day lasting for about twenty hours, Muslims living in those areas must fast from Fajr until Maghrib, except if doing so leads to some harm, severe sickness or death, due to its length.

The Qur'an:

"…and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black, then complete your fast till the nightfall. And do not have sexual relations with them while you are in devotional solitude in the mosques. These are the limits (set) by Allāh, so approach them not. Thus does Allāh make clear His Signs to humankind that they may become pious.” (Al-Baqarah: 187)

The people addressed in this verse are able to distinguish between night and day, the white thread of dawn being distinct from the blackness of night

  • Thank you for your response. In regard to Sweden and Norway I have read that it is permissable for them to fast times according to Mecca times. I dont understand why this rule has not been applied to the UK. There is about an hours difference. – Funky Jun 29 '14 at 18:23
  • As for your comment on the day of judgement; is it not written that a muslim shouldn't be suffering during fasting? I don't believe it is realistic to fast those times. I did it last year and found it impossible. Do you live in the UK? Do you have a full time job? I have met people who have taken the whole month off work to fast. This is not an option. – Funky Jun 29 '14 at 18:26
  • @Funky If the timing is too long and the people are not able to cope they are allowed to fast according to Mecca times or their neighbour's time because fasting isn't about suffering but more about disciplines and appreciating what you have. The reason why they are allowed to fast at a different time is because they do not have proper day light in those countries. And yes I do live in the UK and I am surrounded by Muslims who have a job and family to look after. If it is impossible to fast then you will be allowed to catch up later, however I do believe it is possible and there is more barakah – Zohal Jun 30 '14 at 18:09
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    Who actually sets this rule? I know that in the extreme north, some people have to fast for 23.5 hours, so they just use the fasting time from England. How can we decide to how long is fasting permitted? this is not mentioned in neither Quran nor Hadith – Mehdi Jul 1 '14 at 2:42
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    @Mehdi the time is limited to how much people can cope. clearly the time in the UK is not too much because many Muslims fast every year even when they have to go to work. However if you are physically not capable of fasting for such long hours you can fast with another Muslim country where the fasting hours are about 14 or 15 hours per day. – Zohal Jul 1 '14 at 15:35
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I've heard and read about a couple of options for the time to fast:

  • Fasting according the length of the fast of the next city with a latitude of 45° north (For example in Europe and northern America) or south (For example in Australia and southern Africa or America). (Starting after the local fajr). (See also, this opinion has been lately -2014- re-discussed and proposed as a solution for people who are not able to fast longer days of 18-21 h)
  • Fasting an amount of hours which is equal to the actual fasting time of Mekka and then breaking the fast:

أن يخصص لهذه البلدان ساعات من الصيام تعادل ما يصومه أهل مكة، ثم يفطر الصائمون من أهل هذه البلدان بعد انتهاء الوقت المحدد، حتى ولو كانت الشمس ساطعة

  • Fasting an amount of hours which is equal to the maximal location reached by the so called Islamic Conquests (الفتوحات الإسلامية)

    أن يخصص لهذه البلدان ساعات من الصيام تعادل ساعات الصيام في أقصى ما وصل إليه سلطان المسلمين في فتوحاتهم الإسلامية

Note that these options clearly ease the situation for the fasting but have no real backup in neither in the quran, nor the sunnah nor any other authentic source!

In the -at least to me- last known fatwa of the European council of fatwa and research (ECFR) all these options have been rejected, and people have been asked to fast according their local timings according (2:187)

And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset.

But if somebody felt hardship or weakened while fasting he can break his fast according (2:185):

So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days.

and (2:286)

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.

and in (22:78):

He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty.

The council added that a hardship in performing a job or task is a reason for breaking the fast. The article also added that the signs of the fajr as-sadiq might be missed during some time of the year and therefore the time of imsak could be an ease to even start fasting later.

Here's a fatwa that goes a bit further (how to pray and fast in countries where the day or night is continuous).

And Allah knows best!

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I don't live in the UK but we have nearly similar fasting times and similar conditions (no holidays, hot weather, long working day).

The fast of ramadan is rigorous during the best of times and might be very hard during long summer days.

Skipping fast is not a good option: you will have to do this all your life.

Fortunately, the solution is simple: you should get used to this. It will be hard -very hard- at first but then you will get used to it. Here are some tricks to get you started:

  1. Eat suhoor just prior to dawn: It might be hard to wake up at that time but at his lots of benefits. This meal is very important and will help you a lot in your fast.
  2. Stay in cool areas: try to stay in shade and rest from time to time.
  3. Drink water: make sure you catch up to your daily requirement of water by drinking up in the evenings and during Suhoor.
  4. Do not overeat: to follow the sunnah break your fast with dates and milk(water, juice...)
  5. Wash your face, hands and gargle from time to time. This will help you stay fresh and alert.
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In fact there is no solution in Religion for such a situation. All the proposed solutions are opposed by others and there is no real consensus. The best way is to look at your own health and your work rest cycle. Try to fast and if you can't simply discontinue fasting and give kafara as helping poor or fast during shorter days. Allah is merciful and knows the limits of humans. Going off work all month doesn't go with the philosophy of fasting. The test is how you maintain your routines without eating drinking and abstaining from sex and bad things.

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    Welcome to Islam.SE. Answers here should be elaborate, and focused on addressing the question. Claims should be supported by evidence. Please visit our tour in the help center, and refer to how to answer questions. – III-AK-III Jun 26 '17 at 2:49
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you lose your sleep time at night but you get free time at eating times at day. sleep at that and other free times. make several little sleeps during day , evening , morning .


2017 june 2:

and i have remembered a good method for you. if you cannot sleep and then wake up for suhur and fajr, you can eat suhur earlier, before midnight, and pray fajr earlier - just after midnight, it is even more correct, according to hadiths like this https://sunnah.com/abudawud/2/5 , than the prayer times usually given in prayer time tables and usually used in mosques, because full darkness does not come, and there is really no isha time, and fajr time really logically starts just after midnight.

june 5: i have found, (i knew them, but i formally have thought about them as counter-arguments to that argument), counter-arguments against that idea to make fajr from midnight: as i see cocks do not crow at midnight, but there are hadiths that say that aisha said that muhammad woke up with cocks' crow: https://sunnah.com/search/?q=cock - translations say about that he woke up for night prayer, but i do not see that in original arabic texts. and there are hadiths about muhammad said to make prayers in esimated times in case day is long like a year: https://sunnah.com/abudawud/39/31 - so according to it as isha is prayed eralier from its time, fajr also should prayed later than its time, so both making virtual night time around midnight.

june 6: in the last linked hadith it is said in translation "No, you must make an estimate of its extent" - so, i think it is about zuhr and asr prayers in that long day - it is not about 365*5 prayers put on a long day. i copied the using of that hadith as argument to prove that night prayers should be at estimated times in very long polar days, like many days. i did not read english translation of that hadith carefully, and i do not know arabic well. (so btw now i see that according to the english translation that hadith is not acceptable argument to prove that prayers should be in their usual positions in every 24 hour in long polar days).

  • Please go through How to write a good answer – Sohaeb Jul 24 '14 at 11:04
  • why my answer has got so many downvotes?! it is not worse than others, just short! – qdinar Sep 7 '15 at 6:29

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